By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week continued its rationing of dollars, when it sold $132,839,661.28 to 14 commercial banks and three merchant banks, returns on forex utilisation published by the respective financial institutions have shown.
The amount was however lower by $9,807,230.73, compared with the $142,646,892.01 sold to the banks in the preceding week.
The drop was partly attributed to the fact that FirstBank of Nigeria Limited did not publish its returns during the week.
The returns on forex utilisation published by the financial institutions last week revealed that Stanbic IBTC Limited with $18,685,730.12 got the highest allocation from the central bank.
Stanbic IBTC sold the greenback to 140 customers, most of whom were taking capital from the economy. Once more, they were mostly foreign portfolio investors exiting the equities, bonds and money markets.
The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) came in second with a forex allocation of $17,623,843.80. Forex returns published by the pan-African bank showed that Dangote Group, which got $5 million was its biggest customer during the week.
Others were Eterna Plc, which bought $2.401 million, IATA which purchased $1.5 million from the bank for ticket sale remittances, Knight Metal Manufacturing Company Limited – $1.086 million, and Flour Mills – $1 million.
Standard Chartered Bank Limited held the third position with a forex allocation of $12,425,194.16. The bank sold the greenback to 247 customers. Its biggest customers during the week were Matrix Energy Limited which got $1.598 million, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc which also bought $2 million from the bank, and BUA Limited which bought $1 million.
Diamond Bank Plc came in fourth with $12,144,423.10, while Citibank Limited got $11,228,233.26 to hold the fifth place. Citibank sold the dollars it was allocated to 99 customers. A lot of its customers took capital out of the economy.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc came in sixth with a forex allocation of $11,017,251.86, while Zenith Bank Plc with $10,343,290.37 held the seventh position.
Ecobank Nigeria Limited was allocated $9,195,650.58 which placed the pan-African bank on the eight position, while Fidelity Bank Plc with total forex allocation of $5,627,738.11 came in ninth; First City Monument Bank Plc was in the 10th place with a forex allocation of $5,282,778.83, which its published returns showed it sold to 325 customers.
Union Bank Plc also got a total of $4,290,460.71 from the central bank, which it sold to 150 customers.